EADS has spent some €200 million out of an expected €260 million total outlay this year on repairs to cracked Airbus A380 wing rib feet, the company revealed Thursday.
Dublin, Ireland-based Milestone Aviation claims to be on track to lease $1 billion worth of helicopters by year-end. The company, created in 2010 by former NetJets top execs Richard Santulli and William Kelly, provides various leasing arrangements to helicopter operators, from lease on new helicopter delivery–the customer chooses the aircraft, negotiates the contract and then assigns it to Milestone–to sale-leaseback.
EADS Sogerma (Booth No. 5431) is exhibiting at the NBAA convention for the first time and is showcasing a full-size mockup of a cockpit seat that could fit into a super-midsize to large-cabin business jet.
Airbus is announcing significant cabin enhancements to its ACJ318 corporate jet, including LED lighting, resculpted and restyled passenger seats, a media lounge, HD entertainment system and an optional shower in the aft lavatory. Wing sharklets will also be available on the aircraft, increasing its range to 4,350 nm from 4,200 nm.
Among the modular layouts available on the aircraft are an aft stateroom with either a divan convertible bed or a permanent double bed, a third lavatory for installation in the mid-cabin and a forward VIP/crew-rest lounge.
Airbus Corporate Jets vice president Francois Chazelle said yesterday that the company had not decided if it would offer neo (new engine option) engines for the ACJ318 but would for the company’s other single-aisle offerings, beginning in 2018. ACJ customers will be able to choose between the CFM Leap-X and the Pratt & Whitney Pure Power 1100G engines. The first single-aisle Airbus commercial jet is scheduled to begin flying with neo in 2015 and Airbus has committed to investing $350 million annually in renewing its single aisle aircraft.
A French court recently ruled that the Bell 429 light twin helicopter production skid gear does not infringe Eurocopter’s landing skid gear patent, following a complaint filed by the European helicopter manufacturer.
“Integrity is woven into the fiber of our company,” said Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison, praising the decision. The French court also ordered Eurocopter to pay Bell Helicopter and Bell Canada, each, the sum of €65,000 ($85,000) in costs. A spokesperson for the European manufacturer told AIN Eurocopter now plans to lodge an appeal.
Airbus might have to seriously consider alternative means of financing development of the A350 if the German government withholds loans of €600 million ($787 million) for the project, as reported in the German press. Airbus won’t comment, nor will German government officials, but any such development would force parent company EADS to defer to its plan to use its own funds rather than accept political influence over its decisions on work share or production locations.
Eurocopter plans to design a fly-by-wire (FBW) control system for light helicopters, according to a job offer the company published yesterday. The manufacturer is looking for an engineer who would initially be tasked with writing specifications for the FBW system, which seems to indicate the entry into service of such a rotorcraft would take place after that of the still-under-wraps X4. A Dauphin medium-twin replacement, the fly-by-wire X4 is planned to enter into service in 2020.
The proposed 60-40 merger of EADS and BAE Systems was called off after management in both companies miscalculated the reaction of governments and shareholders. Paris and Berlin proved unwilling to give up their stakes in EADS, or reduce them to a degree that was acceptable to the two merging companies, to London, and (perhaps) to Washington.
Ireland-based aircraft lessor Avolon is speaking out against what it characterizes as irresponsible speculation that the economic life of modern airliners has been significantly reduced by the dismantling (for parts) of a number of relatively young aircraft, such as the Airbus A318. In an October 2 webcast, Avolon CEO Domhnal Slattery and head of strategy Dick Forsberg presented the results of a study drawing on raw fleet data provided by consultancy Ascend, combined with its own 10-year projections.